What You Need to Know Before Open AAA Repair
Having any type of surgery can cause you to worry, but needing surgery for an Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) can bring on a whole new level of stress. The first thing to understand is that an open repair for an AAA is only performed when your vascular surgeon deems that the risk of rupture is greater than the risk of the surgery itself. If you are facing an upcoming open repair for an abdominal aortic aneurysm, keep reading to help you understand the procedure and why it may be necessary.
An abdominal aortic aneurysm (also known as a stomach aneurysm) results when the aorta becomes enlarged and/or begins to balloon out in the abdominal region. Not all aneurysms cause immediate, life-threatening situations; some develop over time without presenting symptoms for years. Any symptoms of constant pain in the abdominal region and/or back that spreads to the groin, fainting, nausea and vomiting, dizziness, racing heart, or clammy skin should be evaluated immediately.
The purpose of open repair surgery for an abdominal aortic aneurysm is to replace the aortic aneurysm with a synthetic graft to restore blood flow and eliminate the risk of rupture. One approach for the surgery will place patients flat on their backs, making a vertical incision from the breastbone to below the navel. Another approach will have patients lie on their right side, and the incision will be made from the left side of the abdominal region to below the navel. Your vascular surgeon will determine the surgical incision approach based on your specific medical needs.
The open AAA repair surgery will typically last between 2-4 hours under general anesthesia. A clamp will be placed on the aorta above and below the aneurysm to temporarily stop the flow of blood. Next, the aneurysm will be cut open and the graft will be inserted to connect both ends of the aorta. Once the clamp is removed, the wall of the aorta is wrapped around the graft and sewn in with stitches. Recovery will take time, but the prognosis for patients is good.
Finding a trusted and well-respected vascular surgeon is your first step in successful open AAA repair. Dr. Benvenisty delivers exceptional care to patients in New York City. Dr. Benvenisty believes in conservative and accurate care. While it is necessary in some cases to treat abdominal aortic aneurysms with surgery, not all cases require this invasive surgical procedure. Dr. Benvenisty has the skill and expertise that you need. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with an abdominal aortic aneurysm, contact Dr. Benvenisty today.
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